Story: Amanda (Denise Richards) has a new husband and a new home, as she convinced her new beau James (Thomas Calabro) to leave a cramped Chicago apartment for greener pastures. But her new stepdaughter Riley (Courtney Fulk) doesn’t think the pastures are greener at all, she wishes her dad would move back to their old lives. As Riley gets used to her new school, she finds a potential outlet in the world of cheerleading and she decides to test her skills. The process won’t be easy however, as few spots are available and the competition is beyond fierce. Amanda sees a chance to bond with Riley, so she begins to encourage her new pursuit and even has a plan to help her make the squad, even if it means cracking a few eggs to make it happen. How far will Amanda go to protect her new lifestyle and what will happen if her nefarious plot is revealed?
Entertainment Value: Now this is a Lifetime thriller! Killer Cheer Mom has it all, a narrative packed with drama & dysfunction, dialed up campiness, and of course, the crown jewel of a proper Lifetime thriller, a wild, fun to watch psycho villain. The story here is somewhat rooted in reality, as crazed parents have gone to sometimes violent means to further their kids’ in sports or social status, but this movie ramps it all up to an outlandish degree. I love how obvious the entire scheme is, with Denise Richards’ Amanda just going for broke in tormenting these high school cheerleaders, to the point you start to laugh at how oblivious the other characters are. Especially our poor father, who comes off like a clueless fool in most scenes, as his wife openly engages in criminal acts against teenagers. To some, that kind of approach would leave them cold, but I love that Killer Cheer Mom goes off the deep end and it does so pretty much right from the jump. The pace is brisk, the tone is outrageous and over the top, and the cast is immense fun to watch here. Whenever I watch a Lifetime thriller, this is the kind of experience I hope for, so Killer Cheer Mom is highly recommended.
If you’re a regular reader of my Lifetime reviews, you know I love an out of control, over the top villain and that is exactly what Denise Richards delivers here. Whenever the star power is higher than normal in these thrillers, the bigger names tend to phone in their performances, but that doesn’t happen here, not by a long shot. Richards embraces the wild side of the material and runs with it, making the story much more fun than it should be. The wackiness of the material shines thanks to Richards, who makes it more entertaining than distracting, so when ridiculous plot holes creep in (and that’s often here), you just laugh and appreciate Richards’ enthusiasm. She clowns pretty much every other character in Killer Cheer Mom, so we see her interact with others a lot and between her condescending tone and exaggerated facial expression, she never disappoints. I hope she returns to Lifetime for more thrillers like this, as I had a blast with her performance. The cast also includes Courtney Fulk, Holly J. Barrett, Thomas Calabro, and Lifetime regular Jon Briddel.